I was graciously sent a copy of Find a Chinese Manufacturer, “A guide to the ins and outs of sourcing products in China” written by Michelle Vancisin.
It is an easy read, and it’s only 20 pages long. It is a good introduction for inexperienced buyers based in the United States.
There were a few interesting parts, such as this one:
How to Find a Freight Forwarder
Look for a forwarder that runs a large scale operation in China meaning, freight, logistics, warehousing and other services. Those operations will offer the most contacts.
When choosing a forwarder, be sure to meet with the staff, the people who will actually be doing the work, and not just the sales rep.
The company name or the forwarder’s global reach do not matter, it’s just window dressing. At the end of the day it comes down to the people doing the work. If those people aren’t any good, it doesn’t matter how many ISO 9001 certifications a forwarder has. I’ve had large, multi-national forwarders completely muck up every piece of freight I’ve given them and small, single owner, start-up operations provide stellar service. Freight forwarding is all about service, not brand name.
This seems like excellent advice. Freight forwarders are under intense pricing pressure, and yet first-time buyers need some hand-holding. Not an easy business…
Note: I will erase spam comments from forwarders trying to advertise their services.